This set was produced to introduce an more comprehensive set for these classes.
In 1932 the PRR designed boxcars that would be specifically used for the automobile industry. To maximize capacity they used a new unique roof design, where it curved at the edge, termed a “round roof” or “wagontop”. The X32 and X33 classes were both 50 foot cars with staggered doors. The X33 differed from the X32 in that it also had end doors. Both X32 and X33 cars were built in 1933. Then, in 1936 after some design improvements, the X32a and X33a classes were constructed. While the X33 class was specifically designed for carrying finished automobiles, the X32 boxcar classes, while
designed to haul finished automobiles also hauled auto parts around the country as well. The resulting need for specific service X32’s resulted in different batches and classes being built, which introduced the X32b class. In 1940 auto loading racks were applied to some X32b, which created the X32c class. Finally, starting in 1953 through to 1956, X32a/b/c boxcars were rebuilt with a single door into the X32d class.
Although considered large capacity when first built in 1933, line side clearance improvements made the cars obsolete, so in 1959 the PRR stripped the superstructure of 1,000 X32 and X33 subclasses cars to build their X51 class of boxcars. By April of 1968, the PRR only had less than a dozen X32/X33 cars in revenue service.
This sheet includes enough data for 4 boxcars. There is class data for doing 1 X32, 2 X32a, 2 X32b, 2 X32c, 2 X32d,1 X33, and 2 X33a. There are 10 pre-arranged and accurate car numbers, with provisions for making different additional numbers. See the roster for additional number possibilities. There are six different reweigh/repack dates which cover locations across the PRR system where its boxcar fleet was commonly weighed at.
As far as X32 and X33 models in HO. No one has produced an accurate model of the X32 and X33 classes. In brass Railworks imported an X32a, X32d and X33a. In plastic Bowser did accurate models of the X32a and X33a. Additionally, they did a semi-accurate model of the X32d. However, the Bowser models are done with them having a 12’-1 ½” door opening, not the larger 14’-6” opening as used on the later X32a, X32b and X32c. As a result of using this smaller door opening, the door for the X32d is also incorrect. Due to this fact however, the door stripes were designed to fit the Bowser door. If someone wishes to correct the door width problem, and needs the longer stripe, short sections have been provided
to extend the stripe for making a correct door width with stripe.
For painting instructions, in the entire car, including underbody is to be painted in Freight Car Color.
There have been two good articles published about the PRR’s wagontop fleet, which also includes it’s smaller 40’ X31 cousin. In The Keystone, Volume 14, No. 1 there is an article on the fleet by Ian Fischer, which is published by the PRRT&HS. More recently there was an article on the fleet in the Railway Prototype Cyclopedia, Vol. 22. You can also consult Volumes 1-3 of the PRR Color Guide.